In light of the mandatory switch to BS-IV emission norms from April 1, 2017, the move for all two-wheeler manufacturers in India has been clear – either convert existing models to be compliant with the new, more stringent emission norms, or stop selling them. And following the mandate, most manufacturers have converted most of their existing line-up to fall in line with the new norms.
However, it seems Hero MotoCorp has used this opportunity to trim its model range for India. Looking at the company's website, it has dropped about 10 models, making for a much more streamlined portfolio at this point. From the company's flagship models, the 223cc Karizma R has been axed, although its full-faired sibling, the range-topping Karizma ZMR is still available. We believe this was prompted by the fading sales of the bike and the fact that we could soon see a new quarter-litre bike take up this mantle.
The 150cc Hunk and Xtreme have also been dropped but the slightly newer Xtreme Sports variant has been kept. The biggest change has come in the massive family of Hero's bikes which are powered by the 97.2cc 'sloper' motor. These include the HF Dawn, Splendor iSmart, Splendor NXG, Splendor Pro Classic and the Passion Plus. The 110cc Passion XPro and the 125cc Ignitor also seem to have gotten the boot.
The company's current scooter line-up consisting of the Maestro Edge, the Duet and the Pleasure remains unchanged, as all of these were recently updated for BS-IV compliance.
At this stage, Hero MotoCorp hasn't made any official announcement regarding the fate of the models which have been removed from their website. It remains to be seen whether any of these will make a comeback with BS-IV updates or whether they're gone for good. However, we think this has been a pretty good move on Hero's part to 'trim the fat' from its portfolio, allowing it to offer more focused models to consumers.